Newspaper article Fraser Coast Chronicle (Hervey Bay, Australia)

Ray; the Fraser Coast's Own Dr Doolittle Perpetrates an Inspiring Passion for Down-on-Their-Luck Wildlife. TONI McRAE Meets Ray Revill

Newspaper article Fraser Coast Chronicle (Hervey Bay, Australia)

Ray; the Fraser Coast's Own Dr Doolittle Perpetrates an Inspiring Passion for Down-on-Their-Luck Wildlife. TONI McRAE Meets Ray Revill

Article excerpt

Ray Revill lost his mum when he was 5. That could be part of the impetus for his fathering orphaned animals with such a never-give-up passion.

The former Fraser Island ranger of nine years works for Fraser Coast TESS's wildlife sanctuary in west Maryborough - for a relative pittance, should he ever opt for a professional ranger's job again.

Seven days a week, up to 16 hours a day is his norm and he wishes he could have eight days just to get through the challenge of building up the sanctuary.

"I came to TESS three years ago as a construction industry trainer and my ranger background came up so I dropped in at the farm, as we call it.

"We've got eight-and-a-half acres and about 100 animals but we're now heading towards extending to 150 acres.

"We take animals mostly from sanctuaries, zoos and refuges that close down. Look around. We have Kadar the camel, emus, eagles, cockies, parrots, turtles, reptiles, ducks, geese, chooks and 'roos, wallaroos and wallabies."

TESS CEO Lance Stone can't heap too much praise on Melbourne-born Ray Revill.

"He's a passionate campaigner for animals and absolutely dedicated to be caring for them. When an animal falls sick I've known Ray to go 24 hours a day to save it - and then sometimes it ends up sleeping at his feet on his bed. He has a special bond with animals."

Mr Stone says the sanctuary is totally unfunded by government but relies on local businesses, volunteers and private donations.

"We pay a little to Ray and to one other helper there but the rest of the work is done by volunteers.

"We're now hoping to take the sanctuary more into providing shelter, repair and recovery for injured wildlife and then letting the well animals go back to their natural habitats.

"We're also expanding into threatened species.

"We do a lot of work with kids, some from special schools, and to see often unemotional children suddenly burst into smiles when they make contact with the animals is a hugely rewarding experience. …

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